Patrol Boat Upgrade for Fed. States of Micronesia
Friday, 6 November 2009
The latest in a series of Australian-sponsored Pacific Patrol Boat refits has been completed and the refurbished vessel handed-back to the Federated States of Micronesia at a ceremony at the Rosshaven Marine Shipyard in Townsville QLD today.
Representing the Department of Defence, Acting Director General of Pacific and East Timor Branch, Mr David Hallett handed over the newly refitted Pacific Patrol Boat FSS MICRONESIA to the Secretary of Justice of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Honourable Mr Maketo Robert.
The handover ceremony included an opening prayer and blessing of the ship, a parade by the Ship’s crew and the signing of an official Certificate of Completion by the General Manager of Rosshaven Marine Mr Christopher Helps, David Hallett and the Honourable Mr Maketo Robert.
Under Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program - sponsored and funded by Defence’s International Policy Division - 22 Pacific Patrol Boats (PPB) were built and gifted to 12 Pacific nations between 1987 and 1997. The 31.5 metre PPBs are built to a commercial standard and are used by Pacific nations for maritime surveillance and response, in particular fisheries patrols.
Each PPB will undergo a six-month life extension refit that will see the repair and refurbishment of key systems to allow a further 15 years operation, bringing the total operational life of the boats to 30 years.
The refit program includes repairs to ageing hulls and superstructures, structural modifications to improve and strengthen the hull, improvements in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, engine, generator and gearbox overhauls and installation of advanced navigation systems.
Since 2003, thirteen PPBs have completed life extension refits in North Queensland.